We also see Whale/Frankenstein going through an existential crisis. After his failure with resurrecting Daniel, he’s clearly left feeling inadequate, and doubts his ability as a medical doctor. We see this when he’s drinking on the job, and how he’s hesitant to even try to save the outsider Greg Mendel’s life. His first instinct is to ask Gold/Rumpelstiltskin to heal him through magic instead, and even when Gold refuses to help, it still takes him a while to regain his confidence. It takes a pep talk from Ruby to help him get back on his feet. And it’s in watching this scene that I finally understand why some fans of the show seem to support these two as a legit couple. In the end, he manages to save Greg Mendel, and it looks like everything can go back to normal, particularly after Emma, fills her role as Sheriff, interrogates Greg and determines that he didn’t see anything unusual before crashing his car. But in the final moments, we find out that Greg did indeed see Gold conjure up a fireball. To be honest, I’m kinda surprised Emma’s superpower didn’t kick in. While he probably wasn’t necessarily lying (he may very well have been texting), wouldn’t Emma have been able to tell that he wasn’t being completely truthful? Unless it only applies to direct lies. That's certainly what seems to trigger it other times.
There was a moment when I was right on board with Regina when she was reunited with Cora. I was internally cheering for her when she showed her understanding of why everyone believed she’d killed Archie, and how she realized how manipulative her mother was. For one brief, shining moment, I saw some promise in her. It indicated that she might even be willing to forgive everyone for doubting her, now that she could prove her innocence. And that fact alone showed real personal growth. Of course, when Regina is taking Cora into town in order to expose her mother and clear her name, she allows Cora to get her claws into her again. I understand this isn’t exactly the easiest situation for Regina to be in. After all, Cora is her mother. But at the same time, she seems to instantly forget that she was starting to get Henry back in her life, and the only reason she lost him again was because Cora interfered. Seriously, Regina, I KNOW you love Henry and want him back, but the fact remains that you’ve done a great job of hurting Henry’s biological family. If you really want him back, you have to earn everyone’s trust. It might take some time, but, as Isabelle Rae once said, ‘If something’s worth having, it’s worth working for.’ Instant gratification is rarely a good thing in the long run.
It’s rather clear that Hook isn’t holding a grudge against Emma for the whole beanstalk debacle. This is evident by his reaction to seeing how Emma has handcuffed him to the hospital bed. Instead of getting angry, he decides to joke around with her, even spouting off obvious innuendos. What’s more is his response when Emma comes across him after the car accident at the end of the last episode. Let’s recap here for a moment: this is the first time they’re seeing each other since Emma clocked him in the jaw at Lake Nostros and left him stranded in the Enchanted Forest. AND the man was just hit by a car. Yet, the very first words out of his mouth were ‘hey, beautiful.’ I’m sorry, what was that you said before, Hook? Something about being done with Emma? I don’t think you even tried. We also get that little moment when Hook first comes acquainted with jell-o. A scene that wound up being placed among the show’s deleted scenes. I’m really not sure why they didn’t’ leave that moment in the final cut, as it’s a really funny scene. You gotta get a kick out of the fact that, of all the reasons Hook could have broken out of his handcuffs for, it was to come and ask Emma to identify the jiggly blue squares he found on the tray. Was it because Hook seemed to be coming on to Ruby/Red at the end of the scene? If that’s the case, that’s kinda dumb, since the next episode shows him making a few lewd comments to Mary Margret/Snow, and they had no problem leaving those in.
I really did feel bad for Gold/Rumpelstiltskin in this episode, particularly after the amnesiac Belle smashed her chipped cup against the wall. Of course, he loses some of that sympathy when he directly threatens the Charming family at the end of the episode. I get that he’s protective over Belle, but if he’s really that worried about Hook going after her again when he’s off looking for his lost son, Baelfire, wouldn’t it simply be easier to place a protection spell over her? That’s a thing, right? That aside, we also see him deciding to cash in the favor Emma promised him way back in ‘The Price of Gold,’ and she now has to accompany him on his trip.